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Mitchell backs Smith after AFL loss

AAP logoAAP 12/09/2016 Roger Vaughan

Hawthorn veteran Sam Mitchell has confirmed he was the reason teammate Isaac Smith smiled just before his missed shot on goal against Geelong. © Michael Dodge/Getty Images Hawthorn veteran Sam Mitchell has confirmed he was the reason teammate Isaac Smith smiled just before his missed shot on goal against Geelong. Hawthorn veteran Sam Mitchell is backing teammate Isaac Smith to rebound quickly from his crucial miss in their AFL qualifying final loss.

Smith had a shot at goal after the final siren on Friday night but it went wide and Geelong won the epic encounter by two points.

Just before taking the shot, Smith turned his face and smiled - Mitchell confirmed it was because of a comment he made.

"I would love to tell you it worked - it would be great to have that moment if you knew he'd kicked the goal," Mitchell told Fox Footy's On The Couch.

"Isaac Smith - if you know him as a bloke - he's full of energy, full of life, full of enthusiasm.

"In a strange sort of way, if anyone's going to miss that shot, he'd be in the top handful of blokes I'd rather have it happen at our club.

"He has the resilience and he's the type of guy who will come back from it.

"It won't define his career - he's done some fantastic things for us."

Mitchell said he was trying to make sure Smith was calm when he kicked for goal.

"Although it's an important moment, just telling him to take his time, enjoy it - it didn't really work, did it?," Mitchell said.

Hawthorn will now play the Western Bulldogs in a sudden-death semi-final, again on Friday night at the MCG.

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